The Guide to Buying Your First Condo in Manhattan

Have you have been saving up for years for a down payment to buy a condo?  If you are going to spend your hard earned money on buying a condo in Manhattan, do your homework first and go into the home-buying process well prepared. 

We have put together some guidelines that will facilitate a smooth real estate transaction and prepare you for the entire home-buying process.

STEP ONE: Finding the Right Property

  • Decide what neighborhood fits best with your lifestyle and your budget.  Remember to factor in your commute time to work, your non-negotiables, and if you prefer a more happening part of town or a more quiet and serene location.
  • If you choose to live in the heart of the city, you have to be willing to sacrifice space.
  • Monthly common charges and assessment fees are not negotiable and can rise from time to time.
  • If you are interested in a hot property, be prepared to move quickly or risk losing it to another buyer.

STEP TWO: Financing

  • Have your financing in place before you start the condo search because if your financing is not in order, you could lose your dream condo in the process of waiting for approval.
  • When trying to determine what amount you can afford prior to going through the official approval process, a practical guideline that you can use is to estimate that you may be able to afford a purchase price up to three times your annual income (of course there are other considerations such as existing debt, financial obligations and credit score, to name a few).
  • It is beneficial to try to lower your debt prior to applying for financing as lenders will subtract any debt payments from your income; thus, resulting in a smaller property or lower priced property than you initially hoped for.

STEP THREE: Making an Offer

  • Remember that the market dictates the value of the condo
  • Research what other condos have sold for in the same neighborhood and building and how long they were on the market.Also assess the type of amenities when comparing prices.
  • Instead of focusing on the total price of the property, look at it in terms of monthly payments as that is what will matter the most when it comes to determining if you are comfortable paying that price point. For instance, the purchase price may be higher than anticipated, but the common charges lower than comparable properties.


  • Use a mortgage calculator to determine your monthly payment
  • You must have enough income to also pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance in addition to the mortgage and monthly common charges payments.
  • Consider reserving some funds to maintain the property and to pay for repairs as they arise.
  • Good credit history:a good credit history and record will increase your chances of getting approved and at a lower interest rate.

Buying Your First Condo in Manhattan? 

Contact Sabra Law Group for assistance with your real estate closing or questions regarding the purchasing and closing process (646) 472-7971. 

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